Does Verizon require a data plan for all phones?

Discussion in 'Verizon' started by Annorax, Apr 10, 2011.

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  1. Annorax

    Annorax Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I was reading this article:

    news.vzw.com/news/2010/01/pr2010-01-14c.html

    and I wasn't clear on one thing. Does Verizon require a data plan for *any* new phone, or just 3G capable or smart phones? Are there any phones sold by Verizon that don't require a data plan? My phone is getting old and I am due for a new one, but I refuse to pay an extra $10 a month for no reason.

    Thanks for the help, I am new at this. :)
     
  2. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Verizon data plan pricing just refuses to settle down. We bought "messaging phones" for our kids with the understanding we could block data and not get hit for the $10 a month. About 3 months later VZW announced "mandatory" data for those phones at $10 a month. This is in addition to their strict policy that all smartphones (BB, iPhone, Android, WP7) require a data plan. For a month or two, VZW offered tiered data but it cost more than At&t tiered data. Then they got iPhone 4 and tiered data went away. Meanwhile when the Kin1 and Kin2 came out with mandatory $30 data they bombed. Now those 2 phones are out again with data blocked and not plan required (or even available?). The bottom line is that if you are interested in flexible data plan pricing, look to At&t which offers tiered data as low as $15 a month even on smartphones. VZW's $10 75 MB plan is only available on "messaging phones".

    We were at the VZW store this weekend looking for replacement phones for our kids' pathetic LG ENV 3 phones. They claimed to have a new LG slider "messaging phone" with a "better" browser but the browser was S-L-O-W. Then there was the fact you couldn't control the cost. Once the 75MB on the $10 plan was used up, the phone switched over to a cents per megabyte plan which I assure you would quickly exceed the national debt.

    Perhaps VZW will bring back tiered data for smartphones but for now your only option is to stick with messaging phones and verify in advance that you can block data. Let me assure you, unless you want to see what a $6000 cell phone bill looks like, you don't want a data capable phone on VZW on a "pay as you go" data plan. Data should either be blocked or you should have a plan. We asked the VZW rep about tiered data and he said it would be "coming soon" but he seemed to think the lowest tier would be $25. How clueless. Does he really expect a family to shell out $25-30 minimum per line just to have data? Only if you don't mind your cell phone bill being more like a car payment! :eek:

    This is very messy. :confused: These companies are all about tricks and traps and what I tell you today may not be accurate a month from now. :rolleyes: But as of today at least, you can block all data on VZW at no cost using what they call "usage controls". Perhaps a month from now you will have to shell out $5 for "parental controls" to block data. I know the only way to meter data (to avoid surprises after you exceed 75MB on the $10 plan) requires shelling out 5 bucks for parental controls.
     
  3. DTM

    DTM Intentionally left blank

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    I agree. And yes, you can get a plain old dumb phone without a data plan. My wife just got an LG Accolade, with no data plan. I guess this is really considered a feature phone, but in any case, no extra charge.

    Sooner or later, one of the carriers will realize that a lot of folks don't want to pay for a data plan and will offer a purely pay-as-you-go option for smartphones. And they'll get a gazillion new customers. And get rich.

    And welcome to Brighthand, Annorax!
     
  4. Hook

    Hook Naked and Unbroken

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    AT&T sort of does this now. You just can't use one of their Smartphones. :rolleyes:
     
  5. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Sure you can use one of At&t's smartphones...

    /begin disclaimer...
    Just not in a certain Japanese steak house. And not in the hallway by the south elevators. And not on 696 near Mound. And not on Telegraph near 9 mile. And not on Van Dyke between 10 mile and 11 mile. And not on Gratiot between 10 mile and Frahzo. And not inside a half dozen of my friends' houses. And not in the east half of the hospital. And not on the walkway behind the dorm on north campus in Ann Arbor. And not inside Hill Auditorium. And not in the west facing spots in the parking structure near Hill Auditorium. And not at Livernois and Maple nor at Orchard Lake and 12 Mile nor even Groesbeck and 15 mile...
    /end disclaimer...

    (Based on some of the dozens of pins in my "mark the spot" app on my iPhone...) In fact, my little "dropped call/ failed data/slow data/ call failed" icons look like an orange cloud over SE Michigan (like the snow maps during February where we got the most snow we've had since 1908). :rolleyes:

    So yes, if VZW ever brings back tiered data I'll go back. Meanwhile if they don't bring it back soon, my family will all be dropping calls together on 4 At&t iPhones. Both of the kids like the 3GS and at $50 a pop with the $15 data tier, I almost pulled the trigger this past weekend. C'mon big red... I might be willing to pay one ETF to come back but not 4.
     
  6. Hook

    Hook Naked and Unbroken

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    Well, I'll keep that in mind if I ever visit Detroit (more likely I would be visiting Warren if I did). In these here parts and most of the places I do business travel, AT&T does fine. And that's with Gophone coverage. $15 or less/Month with data. Can't beat it. ;)
     
  7. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    [​IMG]

    In the photo, all the orange icons are reported trouble spots. If you zoom out far enough to see the metro area, the whole thing would turn orange except the icons go away when you zoom further out.

    At&t dead spots in the Detroit area vary by time of day and generally VZW works better indoors than At&t. Of my dozens of "mark the spot" reports, only a handful were outdoors. For this reason I can "live with" At&t coverage, especially when it saves me money versus mandatory unlimited data on VZW.

    I might even be able to get away with your approach because I am in the presence of free wifi 18 hours a day as is my wife. But other family members are not able to get wifi so we need a solution that is more flexible. What I'd love is a plan that let us combine not only minutes but data. Do these companies actually think we want to shell out $30 per line for 4 lines? That's more than the most expensive Direct TV, Uverse, Dish Network or even Comcast programming plan. :eek:

    With At&t, if I ever had an overage, I could buy another $15 block. On VZW's $10 "feature phone plan" when the kids hit their limits, rather than get an offer to buy another 75MB "chunk" of data, I would get hit with the infamous per kilobyte rates that could quickly rack up to resemble the US government debt ceiling.

    When I took the kids to the Apple store this weekend, the Apple sales guy confirmed they could transfer contacts off our kids' VZW feature phones and they also told us about the At&t data calculator that estimates data usage based on xxx emails a day with yyy attachments, zzz photos, www web page fetches, and hhh hours of streaming content. While Mrs. r0k and I can sit comfortably in the 200MB DataPlus plan, our kids might need the DataPro plans unless they were able to budget their data better than they budget their text message usage. Still 2 x $25 + 2 x $15 is a lot lower than 4 x $30 in monthly fees.
     

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